The 10 Best Insect Foggers
Insect Foggers: What You Need to Know
There's nothing that can quite match the sinking feeling you get when you see a cockroach scurry under the fridge in your kitchen, or when you spot bedbug droppings littering your sheets. It's enough to make you have a sudden, certain realization: you need to burn your house down.
Luckily, there's no need to get that drastic. You can take care of widespread insect infestations with an insect fogger, which is much more convenient for large-scale problems than tracking down each critter individually to give it a blast from a spray can.
Foggers are machines that disperse pesticide in the air in tiny little droplets, like — you guessed it — fog. As a result, they're much better at penetrating into the deep crevices bugs like to hide in that you can't easily reach, like along baseboards, behind appliances, and in fabric.
Some foggers come in cans that basically resemble your average bug spray, although they're likely to be a bit larger. These are extremely easy to use — they're basically just push-button devices — but they're not likely to be effective for severe problems. They do tend to be relatively inexpensive, though, so it's not a bad idea to start with one before progressing on to a heavier-duty option.
The heavy-duty models tend to be dedicated machines powered by some sort of gas — usually propane — into which you have to add your own poisons. These are ideal for commercial use, as they can allow you to customize the type and amount of pesticide you use, but they are more complicated (and, due to the presence of propane, they are flammable, so be sure you know what you're doing).
Most foggers are designed for indoor use, but there are some that you can use in your yard or on your patio to control flies, mosquitoes, ants, and other pests. Typically, though, this is only useful for providing a limited window of relief — like for a barbecue, say — and not for solving the problem on a long-term basis.
Ultimately, foggers are just one aspect of a comprehensive pest-control solution, but they can have devastating effects on vermin. There's a reason they're also called "bug bombs," after all — so we'll forgive you if you buy a leather bomber jacket and pretend to be a B-52 pilot before deploying yours.
Tips For Using Your Fogger
There are a few things you should know before unleashing your bug bomb in order to get the maximum effect, as well as to ensure that your family stays safe.
The most important thing you should do before you begin is check every label thoroughly, especially in regards to the pesticides. If you have pets, you need to make sure that whatever you're spraying won't harm them, or at least make arrangements to relocate them until it's safe to return. You should also make sure that the spray you're using is designed to kill whichever bugs you're targeting.
These chemicals kill on contact, so if you can't get the spray onto the bugs, it'll be useless. That means you'll likely need to move furniture out of the way. Also, be sure to thoroughly wipe down every surface in the targeted room when you're done, as you don't want to eat off a counter that's had toxic chemicals on it.
Make sure you're not going to need to be in your home for as long as the fogger is operating. It's a good idea to alert your neighbors to the fact that you'll be spraying as well, especially if you live in close quarters.
Be extremely cautious about flames or sparks, as most of these units (especially the gas-powered ones) are extremely flammable. Again, as we mentioned above, burning your house down is extremely effective, but probably a bit of overkill.
Then again, what's the cost of a new house compared to the satisfaction of watching bugs burn?
Other Ways To Control Your Pest Population
While using a fogger is a great way to quickly get the upper hand in the battle against bugs, it's unlikely to be sufficient enough to defeat the little invaders long-term. As such, using one is best paired with other population control techniques.
The best — and easiest — way to get a handle of pest breeding is to remove the things that make your home attractive to them in the first place. This could mean disposing of food promptly, not allowing standing water to stagnate, and ensuring that your home is properly sealed and insulated.
Your yard could be betraying you, as well. If you let the grass get long and unkempt, it becomes a breeding ground for ticks, ants, spiders, door-to-door salesmen — all things you want to keep out of your house. Mow it regularly, and don't allow piles of debris to accumulate.
Pay close attention to everything you bring inside with you, especially if it's been sitting outside for awhile. Wipe down any lawn furniture, thoroughly inspect toys, and check your clothing if you've been hiking or camping. Any pets that go outdoors regularly can bring back unwanted visitors, as well, so stay up-to-date with an effective flea treatment.
Basic cleaning is surprisingly effective against bugs, as well. Vacuuming your carpet and upholstery is a great way to get rid of eggs and larvae, and regularly sweeping floors and cleaning counter tops can prevent your home from being targeted in the first place. Plus, it has the added bonus of making your home look presentable, and making you look like an adult.
Unless, of course, your in-laws are visiting. Then you might want to invite all the bugs inside that you can — after all, they're much easier to get rid of.